A automotive repair client has an IBM T30 laptop that is used to configure the electronic control module (ECM) in BMW automobiles. The custom BMW-developed software runs on OpenServer 5.0.6, the latter which has been configured to launch what appears to be a KDE session as the unit progresses through run mode 2 startup. Evidently this was meant to be a closed system - most likely to prevent theft of the ECM software - as everything possible was done to prevent the user from interfering with the boot process and getting to a shell.
The client brought this unit to me because one of the ECM software modules is either not installed or incorrectly linked into the desktop. The root password is unknown. There is no floppy disk, so starting from floppy to reset the password is not possible. There is a DVD-ROM, so startup from a CD is possible. Interestingly enough, it was possible to establish a Telnet session - the Ethernet port is live and it was possible through the desktop to change the IP address to match my shop network. However, without a root password, access still wasn't possible.
I started the machine on an OSR 5.0.7 installation CD and at the boot: prompt entered tools. The initial startup is the same as a normal installation, but later halts and presents the following menu:
1) Execute a shell on ramdisk filesystem
2) Shut down the system
3) Run IQM to start initial system load
I selected option number 1, which produce the prompt <Installation>. Typing ls -l produced a directory listing, indicating that I had a running shell. Next, I attempted mount /dev/hd0root /mnt, which was successful.
Summed up, it is possible to execute a password reset function by booting from the OSR5 installation CD (at least, OSR 5.0.7). See Lost Root Password SCO Unix for details.
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